Experts might know their way around Disney World a little better than your average park guest, but that doesn’t mean they don’t run into their fair share of problems!
Speaking from experience, we still encounter SEVERAL issues at the parks, and we’re here all the time!
But luckily, we know how to deal with these situations when they inevitably occur! That’s why we’ve put together some of our best advice just in case you run into any of these common problems on your next trip to Disney!
All the Best FastPasses Are ALREADY Booked Up
Annual Passholders or folks who are planning a quick trip to Disney World often miss out on FastPasses for popular rides such as Pandora’s Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom.
These attractions tend to book up months in advance! Even with the best planning, sometimes those FastPasses for popular rides seem to vanish into thin air!
So what do you do if you still want to get your banshee flight on, but there are no FastPasses available? Luckily, it’s not totally impossible to snag a FastPass on the fly for some of these rides — especially if you keep checking your My Disney Experience app with diligence.
Sometimes guests run late to their FastPasses because they’re busy enjoying a meal or have a change of heart, and when they cancel these FastPasses, you or some other lucky person can be the first to swoop down and get ‘em!
It’s not always possible, but it’s definitely worth a shot! And this is also a good reminder to always do your fellow man the favor of canceling any FastPasses you won’t be using so someone else can pick them up!
Forewarning, this gets harder to manage the larger your group is, so if you’re not having luck looking for a party of six, maybe try one or two. For some families, it’s better for SOME of your group to experience a sought-after ride than NONE of your group.
And remember — if you want to avoid being glued to My Disney Experience, you can always rope drop the park (meaning getting there right at or before a park opens in the morning) and hop in line for popular rides you didn’t get a FastPass for while the line is still relatively short!
Not Getting the Dining Reservations You Really Wanted
Just like those super hard-to-score FastPasses, sometimes your favorite Disney World restaurant is also a lot of OTHER people’s favorite, too!
But just like those highly-prized FastPasses, you might catch a lucky break! Dining reservations sometimes pop up last-minute and you might be able to book a popular spot on the day-of, even if it was booked solid months prior!
Again, you’ll have to keep refreshing your My Disney Experience app and you’ll probably have to be pretty open to whatever times are available.
We find that usually starting a week out from when you’re looking to eat, guests will often begin to drop dining reservations they no longer want (some may do it sooner or later too!).
The day before (so outside that 24-hour cancellation window where guests will be charged $10 per person to cancel) can also be a good time to find dropped reservations. On the day you’re looking to dine, you might have great luck too — it really is the luck of the draw!
And if you can’t get a reservation no matter how hard you try, see if there are other options available at the restaurant you’re trying to get into. While you might have a tough time scoring a dinner reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant, you might have better luck at breakfast or lunch! If you’re flexible, you stand a better shot at getting into a location you have your heart set on.
Can’t Send or Receive Messages
Disney World’s Wi-Fi can be a little spotty (ok, A LOT spotty!), so if you wanna stay semi-reachable at the parks consider upgrading your plan to 5G, if available. That way, you should have an easier time getting through to the outside world.
Simply put, 5G is FASTER and more reliable. It doesn’t bog down the way 4G or other cell connections can, which is incredibly useful in the parks.
For us, having 5G capability helps reduce some of the stress over having the Disney Wi-Fi drop out while we’re trying to reserve a Rise of the Resistance boarding group! We’re already anxious enough without any added phone drama!
5G also works great for refreshing the My Disney Experience app! That way you can scan for those FastPasses or dining reservations super-quick and snatch them up before someone else does!
Recently many buses at Disney World have been Wi-Fi enabled as well, which is super nice to use while you’re on the way to the park (but again, not always the most reliable)! So consider checking with your phone provider to see if this is an option for you before you go.
Battery-Life is Critically Low
Another phone drama we often encounter is the dreaded DEAD battery! We drain our batteries all the time because of how many photos we’re taking or opening up the My Disney Experience app to look for those FastPasses to magically appear! 😉
That’s why we definitely recommend bringing a rechargeable back-up battery. It’s way more convenient than bringing a charging cable and finding somewhere to plug in your phone (and having to wait!). Instead of being glued to the outlet while your device charges, you can charge on the go!
You can buy a portable battery ahead of time or pick one up at the parks. Disney World sells a brand called FuelRod which you can also find in some malls or airports (sometimes for slightly cheaper than at Disney World!). FuelRods are especially handy because after you pay for one, you can keep swapping them out for free each time you need a fresh battery (this temporarily changed last year but thankfully was reversed to remain free!).
FuelRod Power Stations are usually at the gift shops in the very front of the parks, so it’s always a good idea to buy them there or swap them out before you start your day! You don’t want to be in the waaaay back of the park when your battery finally decides to go kaput!
Getting Stuck at Disney World
Being trapped at the Most Magical Place on Earth doesn’t sound that bad until it happens to you! Then it can be really frustrating trying to figure out how to get back home if all the flights are canceled due to blizzards in the winter (up north — Florida isn’t necessarily known for its blizzards! 😉 ) or tropical storms during hurricane season!
Not to mention you might have to make arrangements to stay another night or two. We’ve even had our flight canceled after we’ve already checked in at the airport when bad weather strikes!
Our advice is to set up your phone to receive flight alerts and keep tabs on the weather, both back at home as well as at Disney World. Some airlines might let you switch your flights in advance if bad weather is expected — the more advance notice you have, the better.
If you know before you head to the airport that you might need to plan on staying at Disney World for another day, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and aggravation.
Your Disney World hotel will be happy to arrange for you to stay another night — or if there isn’t a room, they’ll help find you a different resort with availability and get you moved over.
If you need to leave Disney World early because a hurricane is coming, ask the front desk about a refund for any partially used park tickets. And while Disney World does have a hurricane policy, they do not have a winter storm policy, so consider purchasing trip insurance if you’ll traveling during those cooler months and your home area is known to receive snow.
As magical as Disney World is, sometimes it doesn’t go all as planned. But if you keep a level head and work around the problems, you can still make the most of it and have a great time.
We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that your next Disney World trip goes off without a hitch, but now that you know what the experts know, we bet you’ll be tackling these problems like a pro from here on out!
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What other problems have you run into on your vacation? Let us know in the comments below!